Greek Deities

Ourea

The Ourea were primordial gods who personified the mountains. They were born to Gaia, the goddess of the earth, at the beginning of the cosmos, along with their brothers Uranus (the sky) and Pontus (the sea).

Top Questions

  • What were the Ourea?

    The Ourea, like most of the Greek primordial gods, represented a natural concept—in this case, the mountains. But even for primordial gods, the Ourea are barely personified. They have no mythology—they are just part of the landscape.

  • Who were the parents of the Ourea?

    According to the common tradition, the Ourea were children of Gaia, the personification of the earth, who gave birth to them without a father.

Overview

The Ourea were primordial gods who personified the mountains. They were born to Gaia, the goddess of the earth, at the beginning of the cosmos, along with their brothers Uranus (the sky) and Pontus (the sea). But unlike Uranus and Pontus, the Ourea had no mythology; they were “clearly just a feature of the landscape.”[1]

Etymology

The name “Ourea” (Greek Οὔρεα, translit. Ourea) is simply the plural form of ouros, the Greek word meaning “mountain.” The word itself is usually thought to come from the Indo-European root *h₃er-, meaning “rise.”[2]

Pronunciation

  • English
    Greek
    OureaΟὔρεα (translit. Ourea)
  • Phonetic
    IPA
    [OOR-ee-uh]/ˈʊr i ə/

Alternate Names

The Ourea were sometimes called by their Latin name, “Montes.”

Family

According to Hesiod’s Theogony, the Ourea were the children of Gaia (“Earth”), who gave birth to them on her own. They emerged when Gaia “brought forth long hills, graceful haunts of the goddess Nymphs who dwell amongst the glens of the hills.”[3]

Family Tree

References

Notes

  1. Timothy Gantz, Early Greek Myth: A Guide to the Literary and Artistic Sources (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), 1:10.

  2. Robert S. P. Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek (Leiden: Brill, 2009), 2:1109–10.

  3. Hesiod, Theogony 129–30, trans. H. G. Evelyn-White.

Citation

Kapach, Avi. “Ourea.” Mythopedia, November 29, 2022. https://mythopedia.com/topics/ourea.

Kapach, Avi. “Ourea.” Mythopedia, 29 Nov. 2022. https://mythopedia.com/topics/ourea. Accessed on 3 Dec. 2022.

Kapach, A. (2022, November 29). Ourea. Mythopedia. https://mythopedia.com/topics/ourea

Authors

  • Avi Kapach

    Avi Kapach is a writer, scholar, and educator who received his PhD in Classics from Brown University

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